January-February 8th District Newsletter
Updated: Jan 8, 2022
Happy New Year! Special welcome to all new residents, including the more than 250 households who purchased homes in the 8th District in 2021 alone. Thank you for choosing Wilmington. My goal with this "every other month" newsletter is to keep you highly informed on key City Council or local municipal issues. Here is my January-February update.
Don't hesitate to call me if you have an issue. I'm here to help.
Nathan Field 8th District Councilman Mobile: 530-6626 Facebook: @FieldforDistrict8
(1) FREE CHRISTMAS TREE DISPOSAL
This Saturday January 8th at the Delaware Center for Horticulture in Trolley Square.
(2) A NEW TROLLEY SQUARE TRADITION
On December 4th about 25 neighbors started a new Holiday tradition. We placed lights in the trees in the public trees of the 1600 and 1700 blocks of Delaware Avenue and in front of several businesses.
The goal (aside from having fun) is to add attractive energy to the Shopping center area, drawing more foot traffic and customers to local businesses.
We learned many lessons in Year 1 to build on for coming years: #1 - Lights powered by electricity are superior to battery powered lights, much brighter and require less maintenance #2 - Trees use up far more lights than we originally assumed With more planning next year, we plan to do much more. There's no reason people from Lewes, Lancaster or Philadelphia shouldn't be driving to check out Trolley Square's lights instead of the other way around. (3) SEEKING DONATIONS - OUTDOOR PATIO FURNITURE FOR LINCOLN TOWERS
It's been a pleasure getting to know many of the residents at the senior high rises in the 8th District. If you see something that needs to be fixed around your building please call me at 530-6626 On a related note, several Rodney St neighbors want to create a more relaxing outdoor space for residents of Lincoln Towers, If anyone reading this has outdoor patio furniture you may no longer need, we could definitely use it.
(4) AIMING FOR GREENER LAWNCARE IN WILMINGTON
I'm excited to be working closely with several Highlands residents to create "Greener" lawn care in our city. At this stage our goal is to spread awareness of the environmental benefits of electric-powered instead of gas powered lawn care equipment. Here's a good article with more background information. We're also trying to gather as much data as we can about what types of equipment people are using in Wilmington. Could you help us by taking this 3 minute survey on your lawn care experiences?
(5) ANOTHER GREAT BOOK ON WILMINGTON
We are lucky to live in a city with the kind of interesting history that people frequently write books about. In May I mentioned Kevin McGonegal's "Wicked WIlmington." Here's another one. Local historian John Riley has just published a biography of "Porky" Oliver, the namesake of the golf course on Greenhill Avenue. This is a book I highly recommend.
(6) MEMORIAL DAY PARADE - SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT
For new residents, I want to take a minute to highlight a local tradition and monument: The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial in the heart of Trolley Square on Delaware Avenue. Every May 30th since 1871 neighbors have gathered here for a parade and ceremony to honor those who lost their lives fighting for their country. I encourage you to attend this year on May 30th. New volunteers are always needed in helping to plan the Memorial Day parade and ceremony. Please contact me if interested. Residents are also encouraged to use the park throughout the year.
(7) A BUSY JANUARY FOR TWO LOCAL CIVIC GROUPS
Forty Acres Civic Association:
January 11th - location TBD. There will be a vote on an update to the bylaws
February 8th - deadline for nominations for the offices of President Vice President and Treasurer
March 8th - Elections for new Civic group leadership
Lisa Hemphill, association secretary, is updating the group's email list to keep residents informed. If you want to be added to the mailing list, send an email to FortyAcresWilmDE@gmail.com Get updates via Facebook (Click here)
Delaware Avenue Community Association: Special welcome to Lisa Johnson and Stephanie Hanna, the new President and Vice President. The next meeting will be in late January, with exact date TBD. Get updates via the Facebook page (Click Here)
(8) UPDATE ON VARIOUS INFRASTRUCTURE ISSUES
(1) When will the Bancroft footbridge reopen?
As an avid bike rider, I'm as frustrated as anyone by the closure of the bridge. Here's an update from Mike Patterson, the Director of the State Agency in charge of Alopocas Park, on the exact situation as of January 4th:
(2) Project to place Street Lights on Field Road, Grant Avenue and Foster Place
The process is underway. The step of obtaining detailed cost estimates was completed. On January 12th, a key meeting of the State Bond Bill committee will be held. State House Rep Gerald Brady is arranging for $125,000 of State money to cover the maintenance and installation. (3) Building a Walkable Wilmington: Modernizing Pedestrian Access to Mill Road
Last year at this time there was nobody living on Mill Road. Now there are at least 400 people with more coming. Many new residents have expressed a desire for more pedestrian friendly access along Mill Road. The City has asked Delmarva to install street lights. The City is also applying for a DELDOT grant to install new sidewalks.
An Additional Option:
Repurposing and modernizing the old factory workers' trail that runs along the Brandywine from the Swinging bridge to Mill Road.
This would significantly enhance walkability for residents and employees of the condos and offices on Mill Road.
The "bones" of this trail are very good. And because the ground is flat, it could easily be converted at a reasonable cost to a modern, ADA compliant pathway with a "staircase" providing access to Mill Road.
Being able to walk or bike to work downtown or to Insyte or to socialize in Trolley Square without ever going on a road, would benefit Wilmington in a number of ways: (1) Environmental sustainability - 600 people have less need to use a car (2) Recruiting people to Wilmington - this degree of getting to/from work without using a car is what people move to cities for (3) Less Parking Pressure throughout an already crowded city
Good news is that this trail is listed an "Planned" on the 2019 City of Wilmington Bike Plan:
(9) LATEST UPDATE ON GIBRALTAR
I have had several recent conversations with the potential developers of this project. They are expected to produce updated concepts sometime in February, based on the feedback they have received since the June 10th community meeting at Gibraltar.
(10) TAKE ADVANTAGE OF 311 CALL CENTER
On simple municipal problems you may encounter, calling the Public Works Call Center is the fastest and most efficient way to resolve an issue. Here's the number: 302-576-3878 Click #8 on the menu to reach the Call center. Describe the problem, with a specific address, and ask for an ID number. 8 times out of 10, this will do the trick within one day.
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